Avada Theme Review: Is This The Ultimate WordPress Theme?

WordPress Deals

Avada is the number one best-selling theme at the largest WordPress theme marketplace, ThemeForest. Since its release in August 2012, Avada has generated more than 500,000 sales — making it one of the most popular premium WordPress themes the world has ever seen.

The Avada demos do an excellent job of selling both the theme and the dream of being able to build a similar website without the need for a developer or coding skills. However, the reality of using a product can often differ greatly from the promises of its promotional material.

With that in mind, we’ve taken Avada for a test drive to see how easy it is to use and whether or not it lives up to the hype.

What Type of Theme Is Avada?

Before we get started, it’s worth noting that there are two schools of thought when it comes to WordPress theme design. The first is that themes should be built for a specific type of website, with a minimal set of customization options and limited additional functionality. The second is that themes should be multipurpose, and include as many features, page templates, customization settings and options as possible to enable you to build any type of website with one package.

Avada Homepage Design

With over half a million sales so far, Avada could well be the best selling WordPress theme of all time.

The developers of Avada fall into the latter camp, and have used their skills to create a multipurpose theme that’s in no way lacking in features, customization options, prebuilt layouts or third-party plugin integrations.

If this isn’t the type of theme you’d consider buying, then this review is unlikely to change your mind.

However, if the idea of a flexible theme that can be modified to build any type of website without any coding knowledge appeals to you, then Avada could be just what you’re looking for.

So, without further ado, let’s get started with a complete review of ThemeFusion’s Avada WordPress theme.

Avada Agency Website Demo

The Avada Agency demo is just one of the many prebuilt websites in the theme package.

The Features That Helped Avada to Become the Best-Selling Theme of All-Time

Avada is packed with a seemingly ever-growing list of features, and is regularly updated to ensure it’s a competitive option. The developers have certainly done a great job of expanding on the core functionality of WordPress to cover almost every eventuality, making this a true multipurpose theme.

The full list of features is actually much longer than this, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Custom drag-and-drop page builder tool.
  • Large library of elements to insert into your content.
  • A growing selection of prebuilt websites and individual page templates.
  • Support for video backgrounds and inserting video into your content.
  • A range of different header layouts and vertical navigation areas.
  • Background image blur, fading effects and other animations.
  • Testimonial, portfolio and skill publishing tools.
  • Support for popular plugins, including WooCommerce and Gravity Forms.

Nearly all of the features and elements of Avada can be fully customized using the detailed options and settings available — making this an extremely flexible theme.

Getting Started With the Avada WordPress Theme

Once you’ve installed and activated the theme, you’ll be prompted to install the required Fusion Core and Fusion Builder plugins. You can also activate the other plugins that come with the theme, including the premium LayerSlider WP and Slider Revolution plugins. Thanks to the user-friendly Avada admin area, managing the included plugins is very straightforward.

Avada WordPress Plugins

You can quickly manage the plugins that come with Avada from inside your WordPress Dashboard.

If you take a look at the front end of your website after activating the theme, you’ll notice it looks nothing like the demo version of Avada. However, you have a couple of ways to get things looking a bit more interesting.

After a Fresh Installation

Your WordPress website won’t be much to look at after installing and activating the theme.

When it comes to building your new site, one option is to import one of the Avada demo websites, while the other is to use the Fusion Builder to create your own custom content. As the demos are one of the highlights of this theme, it’s highly recommended that you explore them to see the full range of websites you can quickly create with Avada.

Some of the Avada website demos

Avada includes prebuilt website demos for almost every type of project.

At the time of writing, there were 49 demos to choose from, covering business, lifestyle, agency and portfolio websites — to name just a few. Avada is also fully ecommerce-ready, and there are a few online shop demos in the package. As Avada is regularly updated, new demos are often added to the theme.

Once you’ve chosen a demo, importing it into your WordPress website is very straightforward. Unlike some other WordPress themes, you get a good amount of control over what’s imported into your website, including whether you want to import the entire demo, or just certain elements of it, such as the content, the settings or the sliders. Because of this, you should be able to mix and match some of the different elements from multiple demos.

Import Demo Website

Avada lets you choose which parts of the demo websites to import.

During testing for this review, the Avada demos were imported and applied to our WordPress website without any problems at all.

The Fusion Builder Content Editor

Avada comes equipped with its own proprietary page builder tool — Fusion Builder — that can be used to create custom layouts for your posts and pages.

Unlike some of the latest page builders available for WordPress, the work takes place in your WordPress Dashboard, rather than on the front-end of your website, through a WYSIWYG editor. However, despite this, the user interface is easy to understand and does make it possible to edit the prebuilt content of Avada, and create your own custom designs from scratch.

Fusion Builder User Interface

Although not as modern as some other page builders, Fusion Builder is still easy to use.

When starting work on a new page, you can import one of the prebuilt templates from any of the Avada demos.

Avada Content Layout Library

Regardless of which Avada demo you’ve chosen, you can still easily import pages from other demos.

Alternatively, if you want to start with a blank page, the first step is to choose a column layout for the section you’re working on.

Page Builder Containers

Each page can be made up of multiple containers, each with its own column layout.

After you’ve added a container to your page, you can then insert any of the Fusion Builder elements into it. Each of these elements can be customized, giving you lots of control over how your page will look.

Fusion Builder Content Elements

Fusion Builder includes a large library of customizable elements that can be added to your pages.

Because of the way Fusion Builder works, your layouts can be as advanced as you need. By adding multiple containers to your page, each with their own column layouts, and then populating them with a range of elements, you can break free of the constraints of the default WordPress Editor.

Example of a Fusion Builder Layout

Fusion Builder lets you create advanced layouts for your posts and pages.

While you don’t get a live front-end preview of your work as you use the builder, you can easily preview the post or page, just as you would a regular piece of content in WordPress. Then, if you need to make any more changes to the design, you can switch back to the previous tab you were working in.

Preview of a Fusion Builder Page

You can preview your Fusion Builder page designs in a new browser tab.

Another nice feature of Fusion Builder is that any page layouts you create with the tool can be saved to the template library for reuse on other areas of your site.

Post and Page Options

In addition to using the Fusion Builder, with Avada you can customize how your content looks via an options panel that the theme adds to the WordPress post and page editor screen below the main editor area.

Page Options Panel

You get a good level of control over how each individual piece of content on your site will look.

The controls on the Fusion Page Options panel cover a range of settings, such as configuring how the header should look or if it’s displayed at all, which sidebars to display alongside the post or page, and whether to use a background image or not, plus a whole lot more.

As these choices are only applied to the individual post or page you’re working on, you really do get a lot of flexibility in how each piece of content on your website looks and functions. If you’re creating a landing page, for example, you may want to turn off distracting elements, such as the header and sidebar.

The Avada Theme Options Control Panel

Another way that Avada lets you personalize your website is through the theme options control panel. As you can see from the image below, there are lots of options and settings available to you as you customize your website.

Theme Options Control Panel

The options on the left-hand menu should give you a good idea of the aspects of your website you can customize with Avada.

However, unlike some other themes, Avada doesn’t have much support for the WordPress Customizer interface. Because of this, rather than being able to see the effects of your changes to the theme options and settings in real time, you’ll have to save your changes, then load your website to see how your site looks.

Use of the WordPress Customizer

Almost none of the Avada settings and options are accessible through the WordPress Customizer interface.

To get the most from Avada, you should probably spend some time going through the settings and options. However, when you’re just getting started, a better approach may be to locate any settings you want to modify as needed — rather than getting lost in the back end of your website.

Other Options, Settings and Features of Avada

In addition to the options for posts and pages, the custom post types of Avada, such as the portfolio and FAQ types, each have their own set of options as well as their own custom taxonomies to help you to organize them more efficiently.

Portfolio Custom Post Type

Some of the Avada demos make use of custom post types, such as portfolio and FAQ types.

Avada also gives you the option of creating multiple sidebar areas for your website, which can then be displayed on single or multiple pages. Creating multiple sidebars gives you total control over the exact widgets that get displayed alongside each type of content on your site.

Furthermore, you also get access to the premium LayerSlider WP and Slider Revolution plugins for adding eye-catching, animated slideshows to your website.

The Downsides of Avada and Multipurpose Themes

Having so many features and tools at your disposal does have the potential to encourage you to go overboard when creating your website. Just because you now have the ability to add sliders, animation effects, and a whole range of other exciting elements to your posts and pages, doesn’t mean you should — since adding too many features to your website can negatively impact page load times and usability. Sometimes adopting a less-is-more approach to web design is actually a better way of doing things (depending on the result you’re after, of course).

The same reasoning can also apply to the myriad customization options on offer. Again, just because Avada makes it easy to choose from a range of fonts, background types, and other design elements and effects, doesn’t mean you should be using them all.

Exercising some restraint can help you to avoid the pitfalls associated with too much choice, and help you to deliver an understated website that your visitors will love.

This isn’t an issue that’s in any way unique to Avada, of course — it’s actually something that applies to all feature-rich themes.

Another potential issue that, again, isn’t unique to Avada (but is still worth highlighting) is the issue of decision fatigue — something that can occur when working your way through the selection of settings and options on offer and can occasionally limit your ability to make good design decisions.

Furthermore, having so many configuration options, layout choices, and other possibilities can increase the chance of you becoming overwhelmed when building your website, which can hinder your ability to create the caliber of website you and this theme are capable of.

However, if you go into your project with a clear idea of what you want to achieve (as opposed to being led by the features and options on offer) you’ll have a good chance of success.

Pricing

Avada is available from ThemeForest for $60, which permits use in a single end product (i.e. on a single website).

Your purchase includes lifetime access to theme updates and six months of support from the theme creators. However, you can pay extra to extend this support period to 12 months.

Final Thoughts

Avada Website Demos

More of the prebuilt website demos from the Avada theme package.

Avada is a theme that’s dense with settings, options, features and even external premium plugins, such as LayerSlider WP and Slider Revolution. The growing library of prebuilt website demos looks very impressive and covers a wide range of projects. If there’s a demo that matches the type of website you want to create, Avada should be able to help you quickly launch your new site.

Even if there isn’t a demo that’s a perfect match for your project, the Fusion Builder page builder tool enables you to edit the prebuilt content or create your own designs from scratch. However, the lack of front-end page editing in Fusion Builder means there are more user-friendly alternatives out there, including themes such as Divi, which has its own WYSIWYG editor.

Despite the high-quality demo content, the individual page templates, and the helpful user documentation, it’s important not to underestimate the task of mastering Avada. At times, this theme can feel like a whole other piece of software that sits on top of WordPress, upgrading almost every feature and element, while also adding a large selection of customization settings and options into the mix!

If you’re considering this theme, it’s vital that you understand what you’re getting into before making the final decision. However, if you’re prepared to put in some work to get to grips with all Avada has to offer, then the constraints regarding what type of website you can build are, as the promotional material implies, pretty much unlimited.

To get a better idea of what Avada can do for your website, head to ThemeForest and take a look at the official Avada demo site.

Also, if you’re looking for a little ‘Avada Theme’ inspiration, check out our list of 25-Plus Stunning Examples of Avada — ThemeForest’s Most Popular WordPress Theme — In Action.

What do you think of Avada? Will you use it for your site?

By Joe Fylan

Joe is an experienced WordPress user who enjoys sharing the tips and knowledge he's picked up from using this fantastic platform for many years. You can find out more about Joe on his website.
Comments (policy)
  1. Great review Joe! We use Avada for all of our clients. We have so many licenses it is crazy. In fact it is in our contract now lol :) If you sign with us, your site’s getting put into Avada. This makes it a lot easier for myself and our web developer as we know Avada now like the back of our hands and can copy customizations between installs in minutes.

    Avada is amazing and you can make it look different if you get someone creative in there. Clean code and fast!

    • Luke Beck says:

      Thanks Brian, we are honored to hear this. And we are very excited about the next update coming your way, amazing stuff being done!

    • Geneus says:

      It would be nice to see a few examples of those sites you mention that use Avada and load in under a second Brian. :)

      • Hey Geneus! I normally don’t normally reveal my paid client’s sites… I just ran a speed test on one of them and it clocked in at 1.16s / 79 requests / 861.0kb size. This was on the homepage. They are using a slider even though I hate them. Would easily be under 1 second without the slider, but client preference. Here are a few ways I got it that fast. I am using WP Rocket (lazy load on images), an amazing web host (I recommend Kinsta or WP Engine), MaxCDN (every single image is loaded from CDN), images are compressed with Kraken, and also heartbeat control WP plugin to keep admin-ajax.php requests to a minimum. Hopefully that helps a little!

  2. Avada is a great WordPress theme with extremely flexible setting of its elements, I also purchased it for some of my clients but later I took a deeper look at the source code of its generated pages and was shocked by the amount of CSS + JS code being output
    into the page body. In my case it was 77% of a page code (nearly 100kB)!

    This excessive amount of code will be returned by your web server with every page request by your site visitor. It’s the biggest disadvantage of Avada and I do not see valid reasons for which it has not yet been eliminated.

    • Guest says:

      Hey Igor!

      The current version of Avada had all the css/js in the header.php file. This was not a problem at first back when it was created, but as it has grown overtime we are making necessary changes. Our upcoming version (v3.8 coming in 3-4 weeks) has removed the css/js from header.php and has been refactored and cleaned. It is a major difference.

      In addition, you may see some css/js from shortcodes that you are using. That is normal and comes from using the shortcodes. However we are also working on the ability to disable any and all features that you do not want to use. We already have many feature disabling options, please see them on the “Advanced” tab in theme options, but we are going to also be adding them for individual shortcodes and other features.

      This will allow you to effectively turn Avada into one of those “themes should be built for a specific type of website, with a minimal set of customization options and limited additional functionality”. While at the same time, allowing you to turn it into a feature rich theme with simple clicks of an option.

      Thanks!

    • Luke Beck says:

      Hey Igor!

      The current version of Avada had all the css/js in the header.php file. This was not a problem at first back when it was created, but as it has grown overtime we are making necessary changes. Our upcoming version (v3.8 coming in 3-4 weeks) has removed the css/js from header.php and has been refactored and cleaned. It is a major difference.

      In addition, you may see some css/js from shortcodes that you are using. That is normal and comes from using the shortcodes. However we are also working on the ability to disable any and all features that you do not want to use. We already have many feature disabling options, please see them on the “Advanced” tab in theme options, but we are going to also be adding them for individual shortcodes and other features.

      This will allow you to effectively turn Avada into one of those “themes should be built for a specific type of website, with a minimal set of customization options and limited additional functionality”. While at the same time, allowing you to turn it into a feature rich theme with simple clicks of an option.

      Thanks!

      • Thank you for a prompt reply, Luke!

        I’ll check this again and try to «play» with advanced options and shortcodes there. I like Avada’s flexibility and its huge collections of well designed elements so would be glad to use it in another projects.

    • Luke Beck says:

      Hi Chris!

      Our code is being refactored and the process has already started a few versions ago. While we disagree that it’s a “mess”, we are of the mindset that code should be continually refactored and optimized, and this is what we are doing.

      Our upcoming version 3.8 is the biggest step in that direction, header.php file has been cleaned and css/js removed. We are using less css now and one file will be generated, among other things. We take this very seriously and are committed to making everything at a high level.

      Thanks

  3. Ciprian says:

    There are some that love avada but I personally don’t like it at all. I’ve made some adjustments in the child theme and now I have to refactor the code I adjusted because avada has changed the templates in version 3.8 and that caused a huge headache.

    For me, avada is a no-go.

  4. Amit Kalia says:

    I am using Avada theme on my site http://condopundit.com/ The theme receives auto updates and new plug-in installation without user’s permission. It is a shock to learn that they will get in your WP and install a plug in without your permission. Some of my other plugin went down as a result of their 3rd party plugin installation. I have reported the issue via a ticket but I have not heard back. I am not happy with their after sales support. I guess the company is too busy working with big companies/developers and don’t care about individuals.

  5. Sydney Griffin says:

    Avada is a very BAD theme the support is worse!!! I am now looking to rebuild thousands of hours of website creation on another theme because of broken code errors!!! and Avada refuses to fix it!!! my business has no home on the on the internet do to avada’s lack of responsibility!!! i have wasted my time with Avada!!! my suggestion? stay away from Avada!!!!

  6. dave says:

    worst theme I ever wasted my money on. Zero support. What you receive is the most basic theme available. No add ons that they say is included. They talk about a white screen for ease of use. This doesn’t exist. I have never been fooled so badly. Look at my site http://www.fortmyershomes4u.com You can see how bad it is. I will leave it like this for a day for all to view.

  7. Joe says:

    Avada is HORRIBLE!!! I bought it a few weeks ago and it is very difficult to use – very unintuitive. Even small jobs take hours. Avada is the most frustrating, least productive program I have ever used. Buy anything, ANYTHING else but don’t buy Avada unless you want to be pulling your hair out over simple stuff.

    • elpear says:

      I so agree!! I’ve been trying to use it for 3 weeks for a new client and we’ve given up. It even crashed my server at one point. There’s no intuitive WYSWYG screen like other WP themes. I come from a Dreamweaver background so I understand some CSS but I switched to WP about 3 yrs ago. I found myself trying to do stuff in DM for Avada just to make it work. Impossible. My client’s site has a lot of necessary text info and the little tiny text boxes are just horrible. I really hate this theme now. Maybe it’s great for a portfolio site but not for anything educational.

  8. jameskatt says:

    Avada is very impressive. But exactly where do you get support for it? It isn’t obvious from the website. The license is also only for a single site. That is very limiting compared to other theme developers.

  9. I might be a year too late to the party but at least I got there. Sort of. Took a job with someone ‘making websites.’ No big problem, piece of cake, I’ve made about 10,000 sites before… what could go wrong? I note that I did mention I was *far* more familiar with Joomla than WP but I didn’t know what I was getting into here. Well anyway, 3 days have passed – Me and the guy are barely talking and quite understandably we’re both upset. Me, because – I have been completely UNABLE to output ANYTHING via Avada, I am literally on the floor about this, and I’m feeling like I got duped by a complete transgression from actual website development, which only encourages more people who don’t know HOW to make a website succeed in the marketplace too. I had no idea these kinds of editors existed, generating paragraphs of garbage output – it’s alien in quality. I even think the options and pre-configured layouts that are included are extremely boring. This has to be the worst experience I’ve had with a theme EVER, and I’ve never really had a bad one, so this one is markedly bad.

    • Luke Beck says:

      It sounds like a communication issue and not a theme issue. How could you not output anything with Avada? I’m sorry, I’m not following this comment’s point.

      What example of garbage output? Can you show us some example please?

  10. Joseph Crowell says:

    You should really take a look at the latest V5 of Avada. It has actually gotten better. The new Fusion Builder is amazing.

    • Divi has a lifetime option – if you use it and like it – you can upgrade the difference from main license to lifetime. I like that vs theme forest pay every year
      and they have been having great Black friday/cyber monday sales each year too.

    • Luke Beck says:

      It seems my replies are not showing up here. Yes that is an argument, can you give an actual example against it? And don’t mention file zip size, that is not code bloat, nor has anything to do with it, and additionally is only 5.5MB, not the 30MB+ you quoted above.

  11. J Man says:

    Dude, this is expected of you as theme developer. But you can’t dimiss anyone who disagrees with you. I have used Avada on many clients’ websites only because they clients forced me to. Personally, I looked at the code and yes, IT IS BLOATED. You have a theme with 30+MB running on a 8MB CMS. Need I say more?

    • Luke Beck says:

      Since you have looked at the code … please give an actual example of it being bloated. And again, don’t give old example nor the size of the theme, that simply shows your inaccuracy.

      Get the latest version, we’d be happy to email it to you, and show us a line of code bloat and give us a reason why.

    • Luke Beck says:

      It seems part of my comment is missing. The theme is not 30MB+, it is 5.5MB, again you are looking at an old, old version when the plugions were bundled with it. Now they are securely offloaded. BTW, zip file size is not code bloat.

      Also, Rev Slider is 7Mb+, Layer Slider is even larger at 15MB plus. That is where the extra size used to come from, not the Avada theme.

      It is currently 5.5 MB only, again look at a newer version. and actually know the meaning of code bloat.

      Code bloat is the production of code that is perceived as unnecessarily long, slow, or otherwise wasteful of resources. Code bloat can be caused by inadequacies in the language in which the code is written, the compiler used to compile it, or the programmer writing it.

  12. Luke Beck says:

    First code bloat was file size from you, and I’ve explained that is not the case, nor is the theme 30MB in size, it’s 5.5MB.

    Secondly, for speed, test our main demo at Pingdom, WebPageSpeed, GtMetrix, orGoogle Page Speeds … you will see we excel at all of them.

    Maybe you had a hosting issue with cheap shared hosting? Any modern theme is going to run slower on those, but we even have all those shared hosting packages for testing and if you use a cache plugin (which good hosts already have one built in) you can still get in the 90’s for speed tests.

    Test our main demo and see. scores are extremely high and there are a lot more factors that go into it than you could imagine. We take immense pride and put great importance on ensuring Avada’s performance is top notch.

    Thanks

  13. Mukesh says:

    I am thinking to purchase Avada. I have 2 questions.
    Can I use avada in mulitple sites (fully suppotable)? I am going to purchase licence for one site only.
    How long I can get free upgrades of this theme. I a going to spent 39$ upon it.

  14. Tomasz Ru says:

    I have bought this theme and support and this was a NIGHTMARE!!! So many errors, Before I used about 20 different themes in my life and never had so many problems, but this was soooo bad, I am not a hater, to the contrary, but this theme is helping me become one…

  15. Ant Ekşiler says:

    Avada has the worst designs and code, I don’t understand why people even bother with them. My only guess is beginner developers can’t distinguish between good themes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are held for moderation. We'll only publish comments that are on topic and adhere to our Commenting Policy.

Our commenting form also supports the use of Markdown.